DavidThoreau has done a great work in illustrating some of the issues thataffected Americans in the 19thcentury. I agree with his writing ‘Civil Disobedience’ and‘Slavery in Massachusetts’ that it is the work of the state toguarantee freedom and equality to all of its citizens. From theAmerican history, it is evident that slavery was at its peak duringthe 19thcentury. Many people were oppressed as they were forced to work inplantations without pay or better working environment. The belowanalysis of Thoreau’s CivilDisobedienceand SlaveryinMassachusettsshows that Americans have power to challenge slavery or badgovernment policies.
In‘Civil Disobedience’, Thoreau is against the government forallowing oppressive policies, which interfered with human rights andfreedom. I agree with his sentiments on revolution. He writes, “Allmen recognize the right of revolution…..to resist a government whenits tyranny is unendurable” (Thoreau par.8). According to Thoreau,people have a right to resist these oppressive policies. All theAmericans have the right to protest when treated unfairly. During the19thcentury, many people suffered due to slavery. However, people’sefforts and struggles gave birth to the Fourteenth Amendment, whichguaranteed equal protection of all American citizens under the law. The purpose of treating people equally is to maintain the integrityof a country in effort of achieving the American dream. He statesthat “American government…endeavoring to prosperity is losingsome of its integrity” (Thoreau par.3). This is true as during the19thcentury, America was going through industrial revolution wherebylabor was of great importance. However, many people oppressed othersfor their own gain, with government supporting them. According toThoreau, “the government illustrated how men can be imposed on forpersonal advantage” (Thoreau par.2)
‘Slaveryin Massachusetts’ is also a great reading. I agree with Thoreauthat many Americans were ignorant about the issue of slavery. Thepeople of Concord opt to talk about the destiny of Nebraska insteadof discussing about slavery in their own state of Massachusetts.Thoreau states that “there are no slaves in Nebraska but there arenearly a million in their own state, Massachusetts” (Thoreau 3).The 19thcentury was full of corrupt morals as people only cared aboutenriching themselves and enslaving others. The reading reads, “…nota newspaper reader because it is full of corrupt morals” (Thoreau10). Further, many of those who were supposed to protect the peoplesuch as lawyers and judges did not do their duty. He states that“judges and lawyers are not concerned with what is morally right orwrong” (Thoreau 14). The situation is also similar today wherebymany lawyers and judges are following money instead of the law. Manypeople continue to be oppressed because those given these powers arereluctant. It is the duty of every government to protect its citizensby ensuring it safeguards their rights and freedoms. Additionally,people also need to respect other individuals’ rights and freedoms.Americans need to be their brother keepers to promote peace andtolerance in our communities. The people of Concord needed to discussabout slavery in Massachusetts as the practice was immoral. Allowingof slave to continue is an immorality as it is support of corruption.People have the power to change bad policies by ensuring that allpeople are equally treated. American citizens have the strength tochange immoral activities happening in the societies. They need tocome against racial discrimination to maintain the country’sintegrity.
Thoreau,Henry David. Civildisobedience and other essays.Courier Corporation, 2012.